The Tortoise Approach: Why Slow Thinkers Excel in the World of Improv

by Success Improv
7 months ago

When it comes to improv, many people envision quick-witted individuals who can think on their feet and come up with clever responses in the blink of an eye. However, there is another approach that is equally valuable and effective in the world of improv – the tortoise approach. While slow thinking may not seem like a desirable trait in a fast-paced art form like improv, those who excel at it often bring a unique perspective and depth to their performances.

Improv is all about spontaneous creation, where performers create scenes, characters, and narratives on the spot. It requires quick thinking, adaptability, and the ability to respond rapidly to unexpected situations. While some individuals thrive in this fast-paced environment, others may find themselves struggling to keep up. This is where slow thinkers shine. They approach scenes and scenarios with a deliberate and thoughtful mindset, allowing them to add layers of complexity and nuance to their characters and interactions.

One of the key advantages of the tortoise approach is the ability to fully immerse oneself in the scene. Slow thinkers are not rushing to come up with the next clever punchline or witty response; instead, they take the time to observe, absorb, and understand the dynamics of the situation. This allows them to react more authentically and genuinely, creating more believable and relatable characters. By listening and observing, slow thinkers can pick up on subtle cues and details that others may miss, adding depth and richness to their performances.

Another advantage of the tortoise approach is the ability to remain present in the moment. Improv requires performers to be fully present and engaged with their scene partners, as any lapse in attention can disrupt the flow and energy of the performance. Slow thinkers, with their deliberate and thoughtful mindset, are often more focused and attuned to the present moment. They are less prone to getting caught up in their own thoughts or anxieties, allowing for a more collaborative and cohesive improv experience.

Slow thinkers also excel at building strong relationships and emotional connections on stage. Improv is all about creating believable and dynamic relationships between characters, and slow thinkers are masters at this. Their deliberate approach allows them to assess and understand the dynamics between characters, leading to more authentic and impactful interactions. By taking the time to establish a solid foundation, slow thinkers create scenes that resonate with the audience, leaving a lasting impression.

Finally, the tortoise approach often leads to more developed and structured narratives. Slow thinkers excel in creating storytelling arcs with a clear beginning, middle, and end. Their thoughtful approach allows them to establish a strong foundation, build tension, and create meaningful resolutions. This structured approach often leads to more satisfying and impactful performances, captivating the audience and leaving a lasting impression.

In a world that values quick thinking and rapid responses, the tortoise approach to improv may seem counterintuitive. However, slow thinkers bring a unique set of skills and strengths to the stage. Their deliberate approach allows for more depth, authenticity, and emotional connection. So, the next time you find yourself in an improv class or on a stage, remember that sometimes it’s the slow thinkers who surprise and delight the most. Don’t underestimate the power of the tortoise in the world of improv.